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Construction Safety

Brown County Habitat for Humanity

Work Site Safety Plan/ Checklist

Safety Coordinator: (Primary) Mark Dauer (Cell) 276-2054

                                                            (Secondary) Sarah Rotering (Cell) 217-9964

General Safety:

  1. Speak up- if something looks unsafe it probably is. An observer can spot danger quicker than a worker.

  2. Don’t lift beyond your strength. Get a partner. Remember to bend your knees. Lift with your back straight.

  3. Keep an eye on your load as you move and turn so as not to whack someone with a board.

  4. Do not run when carrying tools or materials.

  5. Know where water & the first aid kit are located.

  6. Tell the site supervisor immediately in the event of an injury, and complete an Accident Report.

  7. Think & concentrate on your task.

  8. If you are uncertain about how to do a task, or how to operate a power tool, ask your Crew Leader.

  9. Youth Participation

    1. No one under the age of 16 is allowed on the construction site while construction is going on.

    2. No one under the age of 18 should be allowed to do any ultra-hazardous activities, which includes the use of power tools, roofing or working from a height of six feet or more.

Security & Housekeeping:

Many accidents can be avoided by proper on-site housekeeping. Following are some recommendations:

  1. Have access to a telephone.

  2. Have an adequate supply of fire extinguishers accessible to all.

  3. Do not store flammable or combustible materials inside the building.

  4. Arrange deliveries to minimize value of materials on job site.

  5. Keep the area around the building clear of debris.

  6. Keep the interior of the building, including stairs, halls, and open floor areas, free of debris.

  7. Remove nails from scrap lumber as soon as practical.

  8. Keep all electrical cords free of entanglement with loose materials and in good repair.

  9. Wipe up spilled liquids on areas that may cause workers to slip.

  10. Build protective barriers around openings on the site or in the building that may cause falls.

  11. When dropping materials to the ground, barricade the drop area.

  12. Stack unused lumber and building materials neatly so as to reduce the chance of tripping and to assist in accounting for materials.

Worker Safety Equipment:

The affiliate will make basic safety equipment available to every volunteer such as hard hats, safety glasses, dust masks, ear plugs, etc., as needed.

  1. Have portable water at the site.

  2. Personnel working during framing and roofing operations should wear head protection as the possibility exists for injuries.

  3. Wear ear protection to reduce the noise levels or duration of exposure to loud sounds.

  4. Eye and face protection shall be required when operations present potential eye or face damage.

  5. Hammering or the use of power tools has the potential to produce projectiles which could cause eye injuries.

  6. When persons are exposed to harmful respiratory substances, respiratory protective devices must be used.

  7. Clothing should be loose enough to permit easy bending but not loose enough to get caught in moving tools.

Hand and Power Tools:

  1. Wear safety glasses when operating power tools and nailing.

  2. Wear hearing protection when operating saws.

  3. Never hold the work in your hands. Place the work on a firm surface.

  4. Guards on saws must be in place & operating. Tools must be in safe condition. Keep blades sharp. Make sure wooden handles do not have splinters and cracks.

  5. Select the correct tool for your work. Carry only those tools you need.

  6. Regularly inspect tools for broken or missing pieces. Inspect cords for frayed wires or damaged insulation.

  7. Use grounded plugs on tools appropriately.

  8. Use tools for their intended purpose.

  9. If unfamiliar with a tool’s use, ask for assistance and take time to practice using the tool.

  10. Do not operate tools without approval or supervision. Do not operate a tool if you have not been trained to use it.

  11. Do not over exert yourself or the tool; this can lead to slips and strains.

  12. Place yourself in a good body position- most hand tool accidents result from being struck by the tool or flying chips.

  13. Disconnect power source before moving the tool, making adjustments, or changing bits or blades.

  14. Do not use the cord to lift or lower the tool.

  15. Do not fashion extension cords with staples, nails, or suspended by wire.


  1. Use ladders for the purposes for which they were designed. Do not use ladders for skids, braces, or work benches.

  2. Provide a stairway or ladder for any point of access where there is a break in elevation of 19 inches or more.

  3. Make sure ladder size meets job demands.

  4. Do not use step ladders as straight ladders, always open all four feet and lock spreaders in place on a step ladder and place in a level condition.

  5. Do not place tools or materials on steps.

  6. Use proper angles when using straight and extension ladders. When using a non-self-supporting ladder use the “four-to-one” rule: for every four feet of height, move the bottom of the ladder one foot from the wall.

  7. Top extension ladders must extend at least three feet beyond the supporting object when used as an access to an elevated work area.

  8. Before climbing extension ladders make sure latches are properly engaged.

  9. Extension ladders must be overlapped a minimum of three rungs.

  10. Keep body near the middle of the ladder. Avoid leaning off the edge of a ladder. Move the ladder frequently so as not tempted to lean too far.

  11. Do not step on the top rung of platform on a step ladder.

  12. Do not carry anything that will prevent holding on with both hands while ascending or descending the ladder. Use a tool belt or a tool bag to lift tools.

  13. Only one person on a ladder at a time.

  14. If it becomes necessary to place a ladder in or over a doorway, barricade the door.

  15. Do not use metal ladders near an electrical exposure.


  1. Inspect all scaffolding before starting work to determine if safety features are in place and construction is sound.

  2. Ensure that the footing and anchorage for scaffolds are sound. Scaffold frames should be erected level and plumb and on a firm base.

  3. Never change or remove scaffold members unless authorized. Do not alter scaffolding members or use make-shift moorings. Have a ‘competent person’ (site supervisor) review any adjustments.

  4. Know safe working loads or scaffolds and work within these limits.

  5. Do not allow tools, materials, and debris to accumulate on scaffold.

Rough-In Carpentry:

Observe all rules and precautions specified under general, power tools and ladders.

  1. Remove nails from discarded limber as soon as practical.

  2. Always wear a hard hat during the framing stage. Watch for materials falling from above.

  3. Use caution when walking on floor joists. Watch your footing.

  4. Cover stair openings as soon as sub-floor is installed with suitable materials screwed to the sub-floor with deck screws.

  5. Install a stair, ladder or ramp to provide access for personnel to any break in elevation over 19”.

  6. Stairway with 4 or more risers or which rise more than 30” must include a handrail at 36” high from the plane of the horizontal surface.

  7. Take precautions when climbing onto or off of the roof. This is when many roof related falls occur.

  8. Do not step backwards on a roof. Every year, experienced roofers fall off the roof by stepping backwards off of the edge.

  9. When roofing, wear shoes with soft soles with some tread left.

  10. Loose materials and sawdust should be removed frequently from the roof surfaces.

  11. When standing up walls, make sure there are enough people to hold up the wall, and have bracing ready so it can be fastened as soon as possible.

  12. Make sure the wall is fully supported until the bracing is up.

  13. Do not allow personnel to work beneath areas being roofed.

  14. Never work on a roof alone.


Observe all rules and precautions specified under general, power tools and ladders.

  1. Move materials close to the work area to minimize carrying distances.

  2. Remove nails from scrap- discard properly.

  3. Use proper hand tools.

Insulation and Drywall:

Observe all rules and precautions specified under general, tools and ladders.

  1. Utility knives are very sharp- keep your hands out of the path of the blades. Always retract the blade or install guard when not in immediate use.

  2. Fiberglass particles can be particularly harmful. When handling insulation, wear sturdy, loose, long sleeved clothing, gloves and googles (even glasses are inadequate protection), face mast, a respirator and a hat.

  3. If particles get on your skin, do not scratch. Shower as soon as possible.

  4. Drywall is very heavy. Stack drywall materials so that they are stable and secure. Do not ever pull a stack away from the wall as many bones have been broken by shifting stacks.

  5. Safety glasses and masks help prevent drywall dust from getting in your eyes and lungs, especially when working on the celling

Paint, Floor, & Interior Trim:

  1. Ensure ladders are in good condition.

  2. Maintain good housekeeping in the work area.

  3. Wear respiratory protection when sanding and painting as appropriate.

  4. Be aware of others working in the vicinity. You don’t want to miss your mark and strike someone working in the adjacent area.

  5. Place ladders on solid footing and don’t leave any tools or paint on top of ladders.

  6. Don’t cross hands to stabilize material when using a miter saw. Have someone else hold it for you.


  1. Use proper tools for the job.

  2. Do not over lift- place supplies as close to the work area as possible, get help if needed.

  3. Contact electric, gas, and phone companies for the location of cables prior to digging.